LLT 300

Liturgical Theology


Fr. Gregoire J. Fluet, Ph.D.



Liturgy both forms faith and is an expression of faith. As Sacrosanctum Concilium states it is the “source and summit of the Christian life.” Because it is the living manifestation of Christ within the world, it is therefore vitally important to understand what Catholic liturgy is and what it communicates. This course, thus, examines the theology of Catholic liturgical and sacramental life in its historical development, rich symbolism, varieties of expression, pastoral aspects, spirituality and contemporary issues.


3. COURSE SCHEDULE (subject to modification)

WEEK 1 – Introduction, Liturgical Theology today  

WEEK 2- What is Liturgy?  Jewish Roots.

WEEK 3- Historical background, the concept of organic development

WEEK 4- Historical background, the Middle Ages, and Enlightenment

WEEK 5- The pseudo-Synod of Pistoia – principles, etc

WEEK 6- Dom Gueranger and the beginning of the Liturgical Movement

WEEK 7- The Liturgical Movement of the 20th century

WEEK 8- Mediator Dei

WEEK 9- Vatican II and Sacrosanctum Consilium

WEEK 10- The post-Vatican II liturgical reform, lights and shadows

WEEK 11- Post Vatican II Papal Documents

WEEK 12- The Sacrifice of the Mass, a brief theology

WEEK 13- -paper due.   The Anglican Rite, or Sarum Restored.


WEEK 14- Summorum Pontificum and further developments

WEEK 15- Conclusions, summary  


There will be one paper required for this course, weekly postings for the course, and a mid-term and  final examination. The paper will be 25% of the grade, the postings  20 % the midterm 25 % and the final 30%.

All papers must be double-spaced, in 12-point font, and with 1” margins. A cover page assists to make the work excellent. All sources must be properly referenced using standard Holy Apostles form for citations.

Readings will be assigned throughout the course in the appropriate weekly lessons.

Paper – due week 13.

5 – 6 pages

Topic:  Equipped with what you have learned in this class, how would you explain to someone the beauty, the mystery, and the inner meaning of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? In a manner similar to what you did for Paper 1, decipher the “languages” of the liturgy, its signs, texts, the movements and gestures, the setting (i.e. the sacred space), and other elements of the ritual (music, incense, sacred vessels, vestments, etc.). As if you were preparing a presentation or writing an article to help better inform Catholics, who don’t really understand the Mass, pull back the veil to help reveal for them, what lies behind the externals of the Mass.

You may use the Ordinary Form of the Mass or the Extraordinary Form of the Mass of the Roman Rite as the basis for your paper.

Full texts for the Order of the Mass can be found at the following links:

Ordinary Form of the Mass


(The Order of the Mass begins on page 513)

Extraordinary Form of the Mass

(Mass texts in both English and Latin; rubrics in Latin)


(Mass texts and rubrics in both English and Latin)


Here are some links to YouTube videos that may help you.

Ordinary Form of the Mass “ad orientem”


Ordinary Form of the Mass


Extraordinary Form of the Mass






Students who have difficulty with research and composition are encouraged to pursue assistance with the Online Writing Lab (available at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl).

GRADING SCALE:        A 94-100; A- 90-93;

B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83;

C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73;

D 60-69;

F 59 and below



1 (F)

2 (D)

3 (C)

4 (B)

5 (A)

Absence of Understanding

Posting shows no awareness of the concepts addressed in the topic by shifting off-topic


Posting demonstrates a misunderstanding of the basic concepts addressed in the topic through an inability to re-explain them

Adequate Understanding

Posting demonstrates an adequate understanding of the basic concepts addressed in the topic by a re-explanation of them

Solid understanding

Posting demonstrates an understanding of the basic concepts addressed in the topic and uses that understanding effectively in the examples it provides

Insightful understanding

Posting demonstrates an understanding of the basic concepts of the topic through the use of examples and by making connections to other concepts


1 (F)

2 (D)

3 (C)

4 (B)

5 (A)

Missing Research

Paper shows no evidence of research: citation of sources missing.

Inadequate research and/or documentation

Over-reliance on few sources; poor quality of chosen sources; spotty documentation of facts in text; pattern of citation errors.

Adequate research and documentation but needs improvement

Good choice of sources but could be improved with some additions or better selection; did not always cite sources; too many citation errors.

Solid research and documentation

A number of relevant scholarly sources revealing solid research; sources appropriately referenced in paper; only a few minor citation errors.

Excellent critical research and documentation

Critically selected and relevant scholarly sources demonstrating extensive, in-depth research; sources skillfully incorporated into paper at all necessary points; all citations follow standard bibliographic format.

Writing & Expression

1 (F)

2 (D)

3 (C)

4 (B)

5 (A)

Incomplete writing

Posting is only partially written or fails to address the topic

Writing difficult to understand, serious improvement needed

Posting touches only on the surface of the topic and proceeds to talk about something else; confusing organization or development; little elaboration of position; insufficient control of sentence structure and vocabulary; unacceptable number of errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage

Acceptable writing, but could use some sharpening of skill

Posting is an uneven response to parts of the topic; somewhat conventional treatment;  satisfactory organization, but more development needed; adequate syntax and diction, but could use more vigor; overall control of grammar, mechanics, and usage, but some errors

Solid writing with something interesting to say

Posting is an adequate response to the topic; some depth and complexity in treatment; persuasive organization and development, with suitable reasons and examples;  level-appropriate syntax and diction;  mastery of grammar, mechanics, and usage, with hardly any error

command-level writing, making a clear impression

Posting is a thorough response to the topic; thoughtful and insightful examination of issues; compelling organization and development ; superior syntax and diction; error-free grammar, mechanics, and usage


Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Robert Mish, the Disability Resource Center ADA Coordinator, at rmish@holyapostles.edu or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.


Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends. Plagiarism includes: 1. Directly quoting without acknowledging the source. 2. Changing a few words of a text without indicating this was done and/or not acknowledging the source. 3. Not acknowledging that the structure of ideas or logic is from another author. 4. Not acknowledging a unique image (including analogies, similes, metaphors etc.) is from a particular document or author.

Students, where applicable:

·     Should identify the title, author, page number/webpage address, and publication date of works when directly quoting small portions of texts, articles, interviews, or websites.

·     Students should not copy more than two paragraphs from any source as a major component of papers or projects.

·     Should appropriately identify the source of information when paraphrasing (restating) ideas from texts, interviews, articles, or websites.

·     Should follow the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Stylesheet (available on the Online Writing Lab’s website at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl/resources).

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students caught plagiarizing will receive a zero for the assignment, and may be withdrawn from the class and/or expelled from Holy Apostles.


Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50-minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade.


An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.

To request an incomplete, distance-learning students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.

A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.